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braves-6-mets-1-braves-6-mets-2-rinse-and-repeat | May | 2008 Articles

2008 Archives

Braves 6, Mets 1; Braves 6, Mets 2; Rinse and Repeat

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Braves win! Braves 6, Mets 1 Braves 6, Mets 2 These games were about as similar as the scores would indicate: we eked out an early lead against the Mets, our junkballer kept their bats off balance with six innings of slop, then we cemented the lead with a late homer by one of our lefty bats and used Boyer and Acosta to mop up. (I'm happy with everything that we did in both games other than Bobby's serial, inexplicable overuse of Boyer and Acosta.) After a characteristically shaky first, with a homer to Luis Castillo of all people, followed by two singles and a walk, Tom Glavine stranded those three men and then became vintage; he didn't allow another to reach as long as he was in the game, retiring 17 in a row and probably pitching his most dominating baseball of the year. (Mets fans were just apoplectic.) 82 pitches, 54 for strikes, but he came out after the sixth inning because of a sore right knee; please get well soon, Tommy, because we need you. We nickeled and dimed them for the first 5 innings. We scored single runs in the 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings, and might have had more if not for Yunel's unusually unsound baserunning; he was thrown out at third after a leadoff double in the 1st, and then was caught stealing in the 3rd after a leadoff single. But in the fourth, Kelly Johnson led off with a double, Gregor Blanco drew the first of his two walks on the day, Glavine sacrificed them over perfectly, and Yunel followed through with a sacrifice fly. My bĂȘte noire, Mark Teixeira, had three hits, and finally hit like he's supposed to. But the real offensive star of the game was Brian McCann, who homered off Aaron Heilman in the 7th to open the lead to 5, and the punchless Mets simply couldn't respond. Will Ohman was effectively wild for an inning and a third, striking out 3, two of them after going to 3-0 counts -- I hate it when he does that, but I can't argue with the result. The second game started after an hour and a half of rain delay, but it didn't seem to bother Jorge Campillo, the Seattle Mariners' second gift to our pitching staff. He was absolutely brilliant in only the second start of his career, needing just 78 pitches to complete 6 scoreless innings, giving up only 3 hits, with 7 strikeouts and no walks. His line for the season reads as follows: 27 1/3 IP, 0 HR, 24 K, 5 BB, 0.99 ERA, 0.87 WHIP. I don't know if we can give Roger McDowell credit for some of this, but he's been an absolute star for us, and I'd guess he's earned himself another start or three. It was a funky lineup, and if we hadn't won I would have complained about it. Infante started in center and batted second, which is stupid because his career OBP is .298 (and I like him); Kelly batted fifth, Diaz sixth, and, oh yeah, Blanco started in right field batting seventh, as Frenchy took a completely deserved day off after playing 370 consecutive games, a streak that I didn't like at all. (His line in the past 33 games, since he hit 2 homers against the Nats: .244/.317/.328. He's in the midst of an utter power outage.) Corky Miller even had a hit in the 8th hole, his second of the year. Offensively, it was more of the same: a run in the first after Yunel singled and Chipper doubled him in (Chipper was 3-8 for the doubleheader, and sits now at .409). Three runs in the third after Infante walked, Chipper singled, Teixeira singled Omar in, and Kelly Johnson tripled them in. Finally, the game was put safely out of reach in the 8th, when Mark Kotsay -- who had come in as a defensive replacement in the top of the inning, Infante moving to left -- hit a two-run homer. Then more Boyer and Acosta, who might want to contemplate getting a restraining order against Bobby. Actually, until Boyer gave up the Mets' only two runs in the eighth, the Atlanta bullpen as a unit had pitched 20 consecutive scoreless innings, something that frankly boggles my mind considering how awful they were at the beginning of the year. Unfortunately, if we have any more bullpen injuries, their success will be a very pyrrhic victory. Let's just hope we can keep it together till we get Gonzalez back and Smoltz starts charging out of that bullpen again. There was a scary moment in the last play of the second game, when Ryan Church went hard into second to try to prevent a double play, Yunel Escobar tried to jump over him, and smacked his knee into Church's head. Church apparently got a concussion, but he was way out of the base line, wasn't even trying to slide into the bag, and there wasn't much Yunel could do to avoid him. Yunel's knee "was heavily wrapped" after the game, and he was quoted as saying, "No DL." Let's hope so, because, between Glavine and Yunel, sore knees seem to be going around the clubhouse. For right now, I'm coasting on the high of a doubleheader sweep. Let's pour some sugar on it tonight.
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